Monday, July 07, 2008
Thank you, Liz Marks.
We lost another great one this weekend.
My friend, agent, and casting director, Liz Marks lost her valiant battle with cancer this past Sunday morning.
The last time I saw Liz was at a matinee of The Firehouse Cabaret, where she was just gushing over the performances of Jude Fageas and Alia Bisharat. I made the introductions, and Liz jumped right in, eager to get them both in front of the camera to audition for a Virginia Lottery spot.
Liz was so complementary and so encouraging to both of them that Jude and Alia left the Firehouse Theatre that day feeling like a million bucks. That's the power Liz had. She made you feel great about the human potential you possess-- She made you see that the sky is the limit, and believe me, she lived that mantra.
Liz took care of her actors, ever mindful of their needs and concerns. After talking to Jude and Alia that day, she apologized to me for not asking me to audition for the spot as well, worried that I'd be hurt or professionally offended. I certainly wasn't offended at all, seeing as how I probably wasn't right for the spot-- (I'm not in my teens anymore, after all)-- and having already done the Texas Hold 'Em Lottery spots a few years back, I knew that they probably needed fresh faces. Yet the fact that Liz cared enough to mention it speaks volumes about the way in which she went about her business.
Last year, Liz invited me to audition for the national Old Spice spot featuring Tony Stewart. I kept saying, "Liz, I have a show on one of the shoot dates!!" She said, "Just come!! Come audition!! It's a huge job!!" So, I auditioned. She kept saying "They love you-- they want to use you, they're just not sure in what role." Then, when I finally landed the spot, I found out by opening an email from Liz with the subject heading reading: "U DA MAN!!!" The message read simply: "WOOHOO!! BOOKED!! CALL ME!!" We high-fived one another when we saw each other again.
That Old Spice job allowed me to go home for my cousin's wedding last year, and it really helped us out over the lean times. I have only Liz to thank for the unforgettable time I shared with my family last august.
Her enthusiasm was infectious. Her tenacity and lust for life I will never, ever forget. For years, Jennie and I would run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and one year as we crossed the finish line, we could both hear Liz singing, in her brassiest, most inimitably inspiring way "I'M STILL HERE!!" under the pavilion... That's one of my favorite memories of Liz.
Liz Marks is an inspiration to many, and the toughness she displayed throughout her back-and-forth bout with cancer is beyond measure. I hope that if I ever have to face such circumstances, I will be able to reflect the same amazing combination of "Will and Grace."
Thank you, Liz Marks, for all you did for my career and my family. We miss you dearly as we honor your amazing life.
Scott Wichmann and Jennifer Meharg.
Funeral arrangements can be viewed HERE.